Two brothers vacationing in Mexico came across a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Heading towards their favorite spot for fly fishing on the beach in Baja’s East Cape, they noticed a shimmering creature about a hundred feet away from them as they were driving their 4 wheeler.
Noah and Jacob Thompson, both avid fisherman, excitedly got-off their vehicle and approached the creature. They recognized it as a juvenile oarfish of about 8 feet long, a deep sea creature that lives normally at depths of around 3,000 feet, and can grow to about 56 feet long. They have never seen a live specimen before, still moving and gasping for breath.
Giant oarfish normally are dead when seen ashore, probably pushed to shore by strong currents. They are the longest known species of bony fish, and do not have scales, but tubercules and a silvery coat of a material called guanine. They are not dangerous, and don’t have any real teeth. They feed on tiny plankton.
Jacob decided to return the oarfish to the water in an attempt to revive it. “My brother very carefully picked him up and set him back in the water and we took a few photos,” Thompson said. After a few minutes, the fish stabilized himself, and slowly swam toward deeper water. “ In my mind, I would like to think that we did our part, and hopefully that fish made it back to where it came from and is still swimming around,” Thompson said.
Truly a miracle the brothers came by in time to save the rare sea creature from a certain and useless death. For sure it was an experience they will never forget…good thing they took photos.
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